Could you briefly talk about Netmarble? How was it founded and why? Netmarble was founded in 2000 in Korea, with the purpose of entertaining people all around the world through great games. Netmarble is the developer and publisher for blockbuster games such as MARVEL Future Fight, EvilBane, Seven Knights, Travelling Millionaire, Wolfteam, and Star Wars: Force Arena. With more than 3,000 employees and many studios throughout the world, Netmable is acknowledged as one of the most important game developing and publishing companies in both Asia and in the world. While being one of the top grossing game companies for mobile games in Google Play, Netmarble scores in the top 5 iOs and Android combined. Netmarble EMEA retains a position of power in the Turkey, Middle East and Africa region with Joygame.com, the number one game portal in the region, as well as popular games like Wolfteam, Goley, Travelling Millionaire, and MARVEL Future Fight. With Turkey as our head office of the Turkey and Middle East region, we are doing our best with over 100 employees, experts in their fields, to keep our players contented.
Is it true that Netmarble published the first “Free to Play” game in the sector? Netmarble is the company that introduced to the world the idea of “Free to Play” in 2002, with the game “Catch Mind”. Considering “Free to Play” is the most common model in the sector, it is safe to say that we have been the global gaming leader for the last 15 years. Yet still successfully introducing PC- and console-quality games with rich content to smartphones in 2011, Netmarble has changed the course of global gaming history once more, ushering a new era in the mobile gaming sector.
What difference do Netmarble games bring to the table? Netmarble offers many games for PC and especially for mobile devices. A common trait of all our games is that they are multiplayer and online. Another is that all Netmarble games are productions of an advanced level development, exceeding the players’ expectations for both graphics and features. Yet another specialty of ours is that we regularly and continously provide new content for the games we developed while keeping the level of entertainment to the maximum with events. At Netmarble, we know that we are in the
entertainment business and we go to great lengths to make sure all our players are entertained, which makes Netmarble a preferred brand in the gaming sector. What sorts of activities do you offer to the entrepreneurs? What is your system like? Netmarble is one of the most active gaming companies in the world, with regards to investments. We are active in many parts of the world, with different actions in each. As Turkey, however, one of our most important investments is StartersHub. Founded with 22 million TL capital by Netmarble, MV Holding and Gedik Yatırım, StartersHub is one of the biggest incubation centers in Turkey. Founded in 2015, StartersHub contains programs such as Startupbootcamp for all technological ventures or Game Garage for game developers. We invested over 5 million TL in more than 40 ventures in the last two years, among which many succeeded, more than the global average. Having obtained investments from us an other companies, they have gone overseas and are still moving ahead. In 2017, we are planning to continue our decisive investments in Turkey as partner of an investment fund supporting, again, ventures focused on Turkey and Middle East. Our target is to support entrepreneurs developing internet, game and especially mobile contents of all sorts in the Turkey and Middle East region and promote global blockbusters created in these countries.
Where do you place games in the mobile sector? Where do you place Netmarble in this sector? We can name games and socia media as the primary reason for the rise in the use of smartphones. As game quality and content increases, the performance requirements needed increases as well. Currently you can experience the quality of a console game on your smartphones, anywhere and anytime you like. Thus, games are the basic reason for the acceleration in the development of smartphones and for the users’ need to replace their phones regularly. On another note, games are also one the main reasons for the increase in data usage. When you look at our games like EvilBane, Seven Knights, and MARVEL Future Fight, you can see a great visual richness and advanced level content, which obviously means that these games are much more fun to play on new generation smartphones. Travelling Millionaire is one of the most liked mobile games in the Turkey and MENA region. Could you tell us a bit about this game? “Modoo Marble”, a staple for the top games lists in Asia for a very long time, was republished in 2015 for the Turkey and Middle East region under the name Travelling Millionaire. This game was the product of a 7-month intense but pleasant labor, from its name to its characters, to viral campaigns and TV show scenario integrations. To localize a game that is loved so much in Asia and creating its marketing story was a great opportunity for us as Netmarble to being a successful leader in the sector. During the frantic process of preparation and development for Travelling Millionaire, we analysed the habits, interests and likes of users in the Turkey and the Middle East region and organized our localization process in accordance. Our priority in this period always was keeping it interesting and creative. As part of communications for a 360-degree campaign, weutilized television, outdoor, social media and other alternative communication channels for the launch of Travelling Millioniare. After such laborious work, Travelling Milloniare retained the number one position in most downloaded games for a very long time, reaching a recordbreaking one and a half million players in just a month. And Travelling Millonaire is still played by more than 5 million players in the region ould you talk about your plans for developing cnew games and for investments? Our goal as Netmarble is to develop games of high quality in all genres, creating a fun world for our fans and we plan our investments to realize with this goal in mind. Whereas certain games, like Travelling Millionaire, are published for local markets with advanced level localizations as well as different names, despite being some of the most popular games in the world, yet some other globally known and awarded games such as Marvel Future Fight, Seven Knights, and EvilBane are published as is, with same name and content as the rest of the world. We will continue developing various games in the future with a similar strategy. What are your strategies for the future? One of our most important goals at Netmarble is to develop games of high quality in all genres, creating a fun world for our fans and we plan our investments to realize with this goal in mind. We also carry out our decisions for international business acquisitions within this vision. Last week we announced globally that we would be acquiring the Vancouver Studio of Kabam, one of the leaders in free to play MMO games for mobile devices sector. We expect the acquisition to have been completed in the first quarter of 2017.
The Vancouver unit of Kabam, responsible for MARVEL Contest of Champions, played all around the world, is one of the most successful and valuable mobile game studios in the sector. Since its launch in December 2014, the said game yielded more than 450 million dollars, was downloaded more than 90 million times and is still amongst 10 top grossing games in App Store. Moreover, Vancouver Studio is also planning to launch the highly anticipated TRANSFORMERS: Forged to Fight globally in the second quarter of 2017. Transformers is a well known brand for fans worldwide for its popularity in comics, animation, movies and toys over the years. Very often we come across certain brands collaborating with Netmarble for games. Why do brands from different sectors want to collaborate with you? Games are in fact one of the most influential mediums, though recently discovered. When va brand wants to target specifically the youth, games and videos are about the only medium they could use, as the youth prefer to get their entertainment from playing games or watching videos. Therefore games are the way to go if you want to reach young people, whether you are in the confectionery industry or drinks, technology and what-have-you, which results in brands collaborating with us constantly in order to reach and establish relatinships with the players. Especially with the utmost inclusion of mobile games in our lives, their target audience has become women and men of all ages, not just the youth, and this in turn has made games one of the best mediums for any brand targeting the whole market, where they can make themselves heard and establish a cordial connection with their target audience. As Netmarble, we never feature ads in our games. We don’t like to reduce the fun by showing ads to our players, but instead we employ long-term integration and communication methods with our collaborators, which our players would enjoy as well, thus carrying out projects that create added value for all parties.